It’s about time someone reinvented the humble postcard, because getting a postcard is one of life’s really fun things. Unfortunately, sending postcards sucks. They aren’t personal, they often sport terrible designs and it’s a pain finding a place to mail them.
Tandem Lane is social media for those not on social media. It’s a brilliant concept that merges the physical realm with the digital in the form of using an app to seamlessly create and send “real” postcards (I put real in quotes there because there are numerous apps that send “fake” digital postcards). Actually, app or not, I’d say this is the best, most creative way to send a postcard—period.
I asked Chris Lund, Tandem Lane’s co-founder, what makes the app so special. I like his answer:
Using our app you can create a beautiful, physical postcard from anywhere in the world and send it to somebody you love—in less than a minute. Whether you’re traveling in a foreign country and want to share your amazing pictures with family back home or you’re waiting for your bus and want to send a quick hello to your grandma who hasn’t quite perfected the art of email, our app makes it incredibly easy to send a surprise in the mail. It’s cheaper than buying a postcard and stamp and trying to find a post office, and much more personalized and meaningful. And in our increasingly digital world, there’s something special about finding something in the mailbox that is not a bill.
While Tandem Lane has only been available for a few weeks there are already some incredible—and touching—stories of people connecting in meaningful ways. One of the best is of a mother who lives in Kansas and has a 19-year old son currently completing his Basic Training at the Navy’s Bootcamp in Illinois. Since recruits are only given one phone call during their two months of training, his mom has been keeping him up to date with what’s happening back in Kansas by sending regular postcards using our app which has allowed this future Sailor to feel connected with his family while making his grueling training a bit more tolerable.
And then there’s grandparents. Grandparents just don’t understand. Tech, that is (queue the Parents Just Don’t Understand YouTube parodies). Since millennials and Gen Z live two lives (offline and online), it can be hard for them to connect with older generations that are more prone to use a Jitterbug than an iPhone. Some apps, like Togethera, have attempted to solve this problem by letting those with the most gray hair on their heads use their good old fashioned PCs and email accounts to connect with the rest of the family who use smartphones. Meh. Now there’s a better, much cooler way, to stay in touch with older generations.
I mentioned in the title of this article that this app could positively change your life. Well here’s why: Tandem Lane users are consistently reporting that using the app is resulting in more communication in general between senders and recipients. Chris puts it like this:
When a grandson sends his grandma a postcard with a picture from his St. Patrick’s Day party, he is hoping she will get it, smile, and perhaps put it up on her fridge. While she is indeed doing those things, what our customers have been pleasantly surprised to find is that Grandma is often picking up the phone and calling her grandson to talk about the postcard and thank him. A simple one-minute gesture to send this postcard is not only giving his grandma a nice surprise, but it’s bringing them closer together as it’s an excuse to communicate more often than they may have previously.
Tandem Lane, though new, is already basking in some well-deserved recognition—not only in the form of receiving positive feedback from folks in the venture capital world, but just a couple of weeks ago, the team made the finals of the Harvard Business School Alumni New Venture Competition in the Midwest Region.
Tandem Lane will be rolling out some additional layout options and adding some new functions to make it even easier to find and add the addresses of the recipients in the near term.